The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
August 22, 1946

Two Hundred and Ninth Day: Thursday, 22nd August, 1946
(Part 5 of 9)

[Page 18]

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: At least half of them were executed before Mr. Marreco, counsel, whom you know. Others, from the north of Germany, were - there I agree - some of them, executed before local notaries. My Lord, some were executed before Mr. Marreco, of course, who is an Allied officer, and others appear to be sworn before notaries. And as I say, the two that Dr. Boehm had hoped to put in were not signed before anyone.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we should see the documents before we consider the objection.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: Might I hand up first D-929, which becomes Exhibit GB 620. My Lord, it is an affidavit by Dr. Anton Pfeiffer. Bavarian Minister of State, in the State Ministry for Special Tasks.

THE PRESIDENT: When was he minister?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: He is now - he says that: "At the time of the seizure of power, in the year 1933, I was Secretary General of the Bavarian People's Party."

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, it was precisely in order to prevent the type of proceedings which are developing now that, during the hearing of the witness Guettner, I -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, the type of proceedings which are now going on are the type of proceedings which the Tribunal has just ordered. The Tribunal wishes to see the documents in order to decide upon them. Go on, Colonel Griffith-Jones.

[Page 19]

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, in that affidavit he says that pressure was brought to bear on certain officials to make them join the Party, that is civil servants. And then he goes on in the latter half to say how he and other people heard of and knew about the atrocities that happened in the East and the annihilation of the Jews. He says in the middle paragraph, "I am not aware that officials who were Party members were threatened with dismissal from the service if they refused to accept a political Party job, like Blockleiter or Zellenleiter. At any rate," he says, "I never heard of such a case." My Lord, I do not think it is necessary for me to read any other passages of that affidavit, No. D-929.

My Lord, the next affidavit to which I shall refer is D-949, which becomes Exhibit GB 621, from the Lord Mayor of Brunswick. He describes himself, he gives his own personal data. He then goes on to describe the activities of the SA from 1921 to 1923, in the first paragraph of No. 1, that is; he then goes on to describe their activities in 1933, how he, himself, was removed from his office by the SA. On the next page, he describes how he was led out of the town hall and put into prison, by the SA again. In the next paragraph he states that membership in the SA was absolutely voluntary until 1937. "Whilst until 1933 one could assume that many SA members acted in good faith, believing that the SA had a just task for combating Communism, after the events of March, 1933 there was, in my opinion, no longer any doubt that the SA acted contrary to law by their participation in the seizure of power by Hitler." Then he goes on to say how they distinguished themselves later in an illegal manner.

He deals then with the SS. He says that they were voluntary except for those SS that were compelled to join during the course of the war, or were drafted to the SS during the course of the war.

He then goes on in the last paragraph of that page to describe his own illegal arrest by the SS and the appalling torture to which he was subjected by members of that organisation. He says, some twelve lines down the next page: "Before I was ill-treated, I pointed out that I was a war cripple, to which Sturmfuehrer Meyer replied that in that case the arm would be spared." And he was then beaten with hippopotamus-hide whips until he was unconscious; when he was knocked out, he was revived with cold water and beaten to unconsciousness again.

The second small paragraph on Page 3: "The organisation and the ideology of the SS were aimed so exactly and so pitilessly at eliminating political opponents and so-called racially inferior persons that everyone who joined it was bound to realise its criminal nature."

My Lord, I pass on to the next one that I offer to the Tribunal, D-938, which becomes Exhibit GB 622. That is an affidavit from Dr. Viktor Fenyes, President of the Central Committee of Former Political Prisoners of the Province of Hanover. It first of all deals with the Leadership Corps, in particular the Block- and Zellenleiter.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you tell us, as you introduce each one of these, how they were taken and before whom?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, I am very much obliged, of course. That one was taken ... if the Tribunal would look at the next page of it, it was taken on oath before a notary in Hanover. The previous one - my Lord, the previous one states that it was taken on oath, but I am afraid it is not witnessed.

My Lord, dealing with D-938 as I said, he deals with the Block- and Zellenleiter and he states that there was definite pressure brought on people to join the Party, pressure by way of threats; that they assisted in the persecution of the Jews and the Block- and Zellenleiter participated, almost without exception, in the setting on fire of the synagogues in 1938. It then deals with the SA, "membership was voluntary." In the last three lines he states that former members of the SA

[Page 20]

protest today they entered the organisation under pressure. This is not true, for actually not everyone was admitted into the SA. My Lord, he then goes on to deal with the SS, and I think it is only cumulative to read any of it again.

My Lord, the next document is D-931, which becomes Exhibit GB 623. It was signed before Mr. Marreco, by the Secretary General of the Bavarian, Peasants' Union in Munich, Dr. Schloegel, who was a delegate of the Bavarian Diet at the time of the seizure of power by the Nazis, and was the victim of an assault. And the decision of the Court against the SA men who perpetrated that assault, is already before the Tribunal. It was D-936, Exhibit GB 616; and the Tribunal will remember that, because the decision stated that the deeds and intentions of the SA men were only aimed at the well-being of the National Socialist movement, political reason and the purity of the intentions was thus beyond doubt. Dr. Schloegel, in his affidavit, described the ill- treatment he received. And then he says in the third paragraph, "Following my complaint, the perpetrators were not punished but pardoned, the ringleader Bernhard was promoted as a reward and, as I have been told now, rose to the rank of Brigadefuehrer."

He goes on to say that in his opinion the criminal nature of the SS and SA were common knowledge and that everybody who joined them must have known to what use they were to be put by the Party. And then he - in the last paragraph he -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, perhaps you could just hand them up and not read them into the record, because the Tribunal reserves the right to reject them.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: Yes, my Lord. I submit D-934, which is an affidavit - D 934, becomes Exhibit GB 624, which is an affidavit sworn before Mr. Marreco, an affidavit by Albert Rosshaupter, Bavarian Minister of Labour in Munich.

D-932, which becomes Exhibit GB 625, is an affidavit also sworn before Mr. Marreco.

D-933, which becomes Exhibit GB 626, by a Joseph Ackerman, a director, of Munich, also sworn before Mr. Marreco.

And Affidavit D-950, which becomes Exhibit GB 627, of a Mr. Adolf Fahlbusch, which was sworn before a notary in Hanover.

Perhaps I ought to say that all the affidavits which were not taken by Mr. Marreco were taken by the Legal Division of the Control Commission for Germany, or were taken under their auspices. This Legal Division of the Control Commission for Germany were asked to obtain these affidavits, and that is how it comes about that they were perhaps not sworn in accordance with the regulations laid down by the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that all?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, I have one further affidavit of a somewhat different nature, which shows the credit of, or the value the Tribunal should place on, the affidavits which have been submitted by the defence. It is an affidavit of an SS man who was in one of the internment camps in the British Zone when the questionnaire was filled out at the camp, the questionnaire which I understand the Tribunal allowed the defence counsel to submit in these camps. My Lord, I have this affidavit, which I shall hand up to the Tribunal, it is D-973 and becomes Exhibit GB 628, an affidavit by Mr. Kurt Ehrhardt.

My Lord, he was an SS man who joined the SS in 1933, he never took any part in their activities and was dismissed from the SS in 1937 because he had a Jewish partner and a Jewish brother-in-law. He was -

THE PRESIDENT: I can get all this from the affidavit, I suppose.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, that affidavit does not show on the copy that it was signed on oath and before whom. My Lord, the original

[Page 21]

shows that it was sworn before Major Hill of the British Delegation. My Lord, that -

THE PRESIDENT: Could you tell me when it was that Sir David Maxwell Fyfe offered to introduce these affidavits, or intimated he was proposing to do so?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I shall check it during the adjournment; I think it was the Friday before last, because it was before, my Lord, it was certainly before I cross- examined the SA witnesses. As your Lordship may remember, I offered either to put the affidavits to the SA witnesses or to put them in after the documents of the defence counsel were presented.

THE PRESIDENT: That is what I wanted to know. That will be in the transcript, I suppose, that you said - if you could let us know.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord, I understand it was accepted, and your Lordship asked if there were any objections and, my Lord, there were no objections from the other side.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I recall this matter very clearly. I brought up the subject of these affidavits during the examination of the witness Guettner, and in view of my objection, the Tribunal stated at the time that, if these affidavits were to be presented, they had to be presented then. My objection was that I would no longer be in a position to refute the affidavits once my last witness had been heard, because I would then have no other means of introducing new evidence. I took the decision of the Tribunal to mean that the Tribunal agreed with me that affidavits should not be submitted by the prosecution once I was no longer able to reply to them as part of my own evidence, and that these affidavits should be submitted while the evidence was being taken, or before that -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, we will refer to the transcript to see exactly what happened.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, they had already been mentioned before the incident arose. That was an incident that arose with regard to Dr. Hoegner's affidavit during the evidence of Guettner. All the affidavits were mentioned at an earlier date which I will discover for your Lordship during the adjournment.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, then the Tribunal will adjourn now and will sit again at 2.30.

A recess was taken until 14.30 hours.

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to the first group of documents which were objected to by the Soviet Prosecutor, the Tribunal thinks that, as those documents had been included in the document book for the SA after the agreement and the Affidavit 82 had been allowed by the Commission, in spite of the fact that those documents relate to a remote period, they ought to be allowed. They are, therefore, admitted. They are Documents 285, 286, 287, 132 and 82.

With reference to the eleven affidavits - perhaps I should say to the ten affidavits which the British prosecution offered in evidence, the Tribunal has reconsidered the shorthand note which shows what Sir David Maxwell Fyfe said on the 9th of August and what was said on the 14th of August and on the 15th of August, and although there was at that time no doubt a suggestion that these documents might be put in, the Tribunal thinks that the question still has to be considered whether the documents ought to be admitted as rebuttal. In view of the nature of the documents the Tribunal thinks that the documents are not proper evidence in rebuttal on the whole and that therefore they ought to be excluded. That includes all the affidavits with the exception of the affidavit of Kurt Erhardt, which stands in a different position. In view of the nature of the evidence contained in that affidavit, it will be admitted.

That is all.

[Page 22]

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I should like to ask you to hear me a moment longer. In my presentation of documents, I avoided quoting from my document books. As, however, this morning the prosecution put SA Document 156, which is a directive of the schools for higher learning in Munich, in juxtaposition to the same directive given out by the Hochschulamt in Cologne, I should like to point out that in (3) of both of these directives, the same directive of the 7th of February, 1934, is mentioned and that when these two documents are put in. juxtaposition, it says in each case "For all members of the German student body service in the SA has been made obligatory." In order to make it understandable that the prosecution believed they had found a contradiction, I should like to read the last sentence in connection with the directives issued by the board of higher education in Cologne.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the true interpretation. We quite understand that on the one hand you are contending that the service in the SA was compulsory and the prosecution are contending the opposite and they are putting in this other document which they say supports their view. It is not necessary to have an argument about it at this stage.

DR. BOEHM: I merely wanted to add four more words, four words to the last sentence under (3), " .... or not to study." Then the Russian Prosecutor stated today that Document 91 -

THE PRESIDENT: Are you saying that there is some misprint in the document or what?

DR. BOEHM: No, Mr. President. I wanted to -

THE PRESIDENT: Then you are simply arguing on the interpretation of the words, and I have told you that the Tribunal will consider the interpretation and decide the interpretation for itself.

DR. BOEHM: Very well, Mr. President, but may I put in the next document, which the prosecution asserts I submitted only because of the last paragraph. That is not correct. The next document, General SA 91, was not submitted by me because of the last paragraph but rather because of the first paragraph. That refers to the attitude of the Attorney General towards the Oberlandesgericht in Braunschweig.

THE PRESIDENT: All right. We understand that you rely on the first paragraph and not on the last paragraph.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you very much.

DR. PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, may it please the Tribunal. Yesterday, on behalf of the SS which I represent, I submitted a summarisation of 136,213 affidavits. I ask you not to confuse this summarisation with some statistics, concerning which I merely said at the conclusion of yesterday's session that I would submit them without comment. Everything that I said yesterday about the testimony and points of view of SA men refers only to the one hundred and thirty-six thousand affidavits which contain a complete text and which are independent affidavits. The statistics, which I mentioned toward the end of yesterday's session, are based on a questionnaire and are not to be confused with those 136,000 affidavits which I used. This questionnaire, however, was not asked for by me. I did not attach any value to it and the replies made to it, and I merely handed it in - merely handed in these statistics - in order to get rid of all the material which I had ever received. I did not ask for this questionnaire, and I was not the attorney or defence counsel for the SS mentioned by Herr Kurt Erhardt in his affidavit. It is well known to the High Tribunal that the defence has changed counsel in the meantime.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we quite understand that it was not quite asked for by you. We accept that.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.